[amsat-bb] Re: What happens when you loose a satellite

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Fri Aug 8 16:32:36 PDT 2008

Keith & Jenny Sloan wrote:
> With things like the Falcon launch failure you obviously loose the 
> satellite, but do you get
> another launch having paid you money or is that it. You loose everything 
> if the launch fails
> If the later then the launch of P3E and P5A could prove very expensive 
> if the launch fails.

 From what I've heard, there's insurance for both the loss of the launch 
and the payload.

Neither are cheap, from what I can gather as a casual bystander.

You can find references to the insurance in news articles about failed 
launches of bigger "stuff", like the Dish Network failure to attain 
orbit earlier this year.

It was up to Dish, the launcher, the operator, and the insurance company 
as to what they would do when they realized they had a stage fail and 
didn't get as high as they wanted to.

There was an option of using a moon-slingshot to get the bird to its 
final orbit, but my reading of the articles led to them having two 
problems:  It would use a LOT of propellant, meaning the bird would have 
a lot less useful life on-station than was originally expected, and 
Boeing claims to have a PATENT on the technique.  (Rolls eyes.)

Last I read, the mixture of those two things caused them to decide to 
scrap the bird and take the insurance money.

Then I assume such a bird becomes the property of the Insurance company 
and if possible, I assume they splash the bird, to "get it out of the 
way" if possible (depending on the failure).

All of that can probably take a very long time if there's any variables 
that might change things... but I don't know.  This is all conjecture on 
my part.  Maybe it'll spurn some of the experts to come forward and tell 
it like it really is?  :-)

I'm sure those are lovely meetings, full of lots of lawyers.  :-)

Nate WY0X

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list